Monday, August 25, 2014

Our Trip to Rochester, NY

The first week of August, our little family packed ourselves up and took a trip to Rochester, NY, for a dear friend's wedding! Armed with a stroller, car seat, baby carrier, one suitcase (yes, we were just as surprised to pull that off...points for us!), a diaper bag, and MANY diapers, we got on a plane and made the long trip out there.

Jessica was a trooper for the entire trip. She actually traveled much better than I anticipated. Course, I kept my expectations very low from the beginning, figuring I'd more likely be pleasantly surprised than sorely disappointed. And it all turned out well. Our sweet girl is a big fan of sleeping in her crib, so the plane rides were a bit rough because she only slept about 30 minutes in total on each of the longer ones, but she was in mostly good spirits through it all, even when overtired. Once we got to our friend Erica's grandmother's home (where she so graciously let us stay), Jessica slept like a champ, probably just happy to be in a crib instead of on a plane!

It was an incredibly fun, albeit short trip filled with catching up time with Erica and her fiance' Brett (whom we met for the first time), Angela and Capo (her cute Australian Shepherd), and Elaine and Gary (the couple who got hitched). I forgot to mention, all these friends are from our time in Tallahassee when Erica, Angela, and I were on our music therapy internships at Big Bend Hospice. Elaine was also fulfilling her internship at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital at the time and was roommates with Erica. We all spent a good bit of time together when we lived down there and this reunion brought back old memories!

 Notice the sweet potato in between her eyebrows. Totally didn't see that until I uploaded the photos from my memory card. Haha.

Erica was the perfect hostess as she drove us around and introduced us to many "Rochester things". We had Abbott's Frozen Custard, Mark's Pizza, and some Buffalo Wings. Buffalo, NY was not too far away! We also spent an afternoon visiting Palmyra (the birthplace of the LDS church), where Erica had never been before. She's not LDS, but has heard of the Hill Cumorah Pageant, from growing up in the area. We were able to tour the Smith Family Farm, climb up the Hill Cumorah, and walk through the Sacred Grove. You will see these pictures below.

 We "climbed" up the Hill Cumorah. Or rather, hiked. It was steep!

 Loved this kitchen in Alvin Smith's home. It was huge and seriously one that I wouldn't mind cooking in, especially if I lived back in the time the home was built!

 Happy Jessica in her stroller!

 Walking through the Sacred Grove fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine, as I've never visited these  particular church sites before. The Spirit there was so calm. I could just imagine Joseph Smith going into that grove for peace and quiet and a nice place to think and ponder. The light cascading through the trees...what a perfect atmosphere to receive revelation from our Heavenly Father.

Following, we have photos from Elaine and Gary's wedding reception at a very nice country club. We had fun just hanging out on the balcony for a while and taking some pictures to celebrate the reunion!

 I love her squinty eye in this photo. She's really laughing hard and it's just so darn cute.

 The soon-to-be-married couple. Next May, Erica and Brett will tie the knot! Another Rochester trip?!?

 The Big Bend Hospice gals. Angela, Erica, and myself...along with Jessica who was just a future thought back when all of us ladies were interns together!

 The best pic we got of our little family. Sadly, I was mostly behind the camera so we didn't get a chance to take very many photos of the three of us.

 Boys will be boys. They were imitating Jessica's random faces and how she always likes to stick her tongue out!

 This expression is so focused and serious. Love it.

 And this picture is the perfect example of how fun Jessica was on the entire trip! She didn't have a bit of stranger danger the entire time. Which is amazing, because she'd really been struggling with it since she hit about 4 months. She and Erica were pals and our little girl just laughed and hammed it up for everyone we came in contact with. The photographer at the wedding kept coming back to Jessica to take pictures. I can totally understand why, she's so stinkin' cute and photogenic!

Sadly, we forgot to get any pictures of the happy couple. And they were the reason we made the trip! But, rest assured, Mr. and Mrs. Kong were super busy that day, and handled the busy-ness with grace and poise! Their wedding ceremony was held at a Chinese Christian Church (they are both Chinese) and it was one of the most unique and entertaining weddings I've ever been to. The pastor was so fun and lighthearted throughout everything, bouncing back and forth between English and Chinese. He made jokes and talked about his personal relationships with the bride and groom. You could really tell he cared about them and was invested in their marriage.

It was a wonderful trip and we loved every crazy busy and exhausting minute of it. We hope we can go back someday. But first...we're trying to convince all our friends from out there to make a visit to Utah! Maybe a possibility?!? We have plenty of room for them :)

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